Minding their stores together

Minding their stores together

Crain’s Small Business • November 8-12, 2010 | by AMY ANN STOESSEL A group of Lake County shop owners who founded their own brand, RediGo, touts benefits of operating through partnership. There can be strength in numbers. Just ask a group of store owners in Lake County who banded together in 2007 to form their own brand. And now the group behind RediGo Food Marts is looking to get stronger with the addition of two stores this fall and potentially more on the horizon. Three years ago, the owners of six formerly franchised convenience-style stores formed their current partnership in search of a better way to do business. “The amount of experience that brought this group together is tremendous,” said Angela Broski, one of the original store owners who now is president of RediGo. Woody Jedlicka, another of the original store owners, described the collaboration as a group of independent business owners who knew each other very well that now shares a name and buying power. All eight of RediGo’s stores are in Lake County, with the two newest in Perry and Painesville. Collectively, the stores do about $15 million in inside sales a year, not including gas or lottery sales; and they employ about 70 to 75 people. In addition to sharing an advertising program, the store owners say that as a group they can bargain for better rates on products that the stores sell. Working together also can mean more leverage in other negotiations, such as with banks and credit card companies and for workers compensation and health insurance. Additionally, the store owners meet once or twice month to...